Energy Systems Are Back! Clash Royale

Clash Royale is Supercell’s latest hit and boy is it packing a surprise!  Supercell has invented a brand new kind of energy system that doesn’t punish players like traditional energy systems do.  If you haven’t played Clash Royale, it’s a competitive game where two players go head-to-head in real time using customizable armies.  Winning a match awards a locked chest and opening these chests gives you cards to improve your army.  Chests take at least 3 hours to open, must be opened one at a time, and there’s only room to hold four of them.  This combination has the effect of creating an implicit energy system.  Other deconstructions aren’t going deep enough to study the relevance of this new design so let’s see what we can learn! Continue reading

Company Culture Is a Spectrum

The NY Times recently published an article covering the concerning working conditions at Amazon.  It highlights past employees who talk about how Amazon’s culture pushes people to the edges of their mental health and then pushes some more.

While that’s concerning, in a systemic tech industry cancer sort of way, what’s even more concerning is what happened after the article was published.   Continue reading

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Steam Refund – Friend or Foe?

On Tuesday Steam added a refund procedure that allows you to get a full refund on any Steam game you’ve purchased in the last 14 days, for any reason, as long as you’ve played the game for less than 2 hours.  On the surface this change brings Steam up to code in many European countries that require this by law.  And it will certainly do right by players in every other country.  But the sudden manner in which the refund program was announced and implemented has many developers asking: “Is this good for me?” Continue reading